Welcome to Silver Innings Blog, Good Day

Powered by IP2Location.com

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Is Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) an Early Stage of Alzheimer's

The term Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) is coming into the medical lexicon. MCI is a very difficult concept to grasp for the average person with no medical training. The best way to think of Mild Cognitive Impairment is a stage of memory loss that is worse than normal age-related memory loss. Researchers are now beginning to debate whether mild cognitive impairment is a separate condition or an early stage of Alzheimer's.

It is clear to me now that my mother was suffering from MCI long before she entered what is now considered the early stage of Alzheimer's. There was a period of more than two years when my mother was beginning to evidence behaviors that had me worried. For example, my mother was "scuffing her feet" on the ground while walking. She said things like "its about time you called me", when I had talked to her only a couple of days earlier. My mother started to talk incessantly about money. She started to get mean. All of these behaviors were new and different.

Every time I would bring this up to friends or family they would all say the same thing, "she is getting old". For a while I bought into this. Or maybe I wanted to believe it. But another thing was clear, I was getting worried and it was on my mind all the time. I guess you could say I went from being somewhat worried, to very worried, and finally I reached the point where the pain in my stomach drove me to take action.

During this entire period my mother who lived by herself, carried on normal conversations with friends, carried out all her everyday activities like grocery shopping, played bingo, and even drove a car. All her friends, who saw her on a daily basis, assured me she was fine.

When I couldn't take it any more and got on the scene I found out quickly how bad things had gotten. Unbeknowst to any of us my mother had driven a car over a parking lot abutment, through a hedge, over the lawn, and then circled around a sidewalk and put the car in its designated slot. Her neighbors thought it was funny and were more interested in discussing how clever she was to get the car back across the lawn, around trees and into her parking space. No one from her condominium association thought to call us. They fixed the problem and it didn't cost her a cent.

A physician's assistant at my mother's doctor's office told me that a year earlier my mother had come storming into the office for her appointment. When they tried to explain to her that she had been in earlier in that day and had the appointment she became agitated. So agitated that they had to sedate her and put her in room until she calmed down. No one thought to call us. I went to this same doctor with my mother for several months when I first came to Florida. He thought my mother was getting old.

My mother had a credit card bill of more than $3,000 that she claimed was not hers. She was certain that someone in the family had stolen her card and was using it. It turned out my mother thought it was her bank debit card. As a result, when she received her monthly banking statement it appeared everything was in order. It turned out she was getting money from the ATM with the credit card and buying lottery tickets as often as 3-4 times per day. This explained how my mother came to believe she was a big winner in the "scratch off" lottery. She was buying 100s of dollars of scratch off tickets each week. It took me some time to figure this out. It finally dawned on me when she kept saying over and over each day I want to get some scratch off lottery tickets. We had already gotten the tickets and she was the one who purchased them.

During all of this, my mother was still carrying on a normal life and no one around her noticed any difference.

Soon, I'll write about the importance of early detection and all the potential medical benefits that come with early detection of Alzheimer's and dementia.

In the meantime, if you hear these words, "she is just getting old", you might consider a simple memory test to determine if your loved one is in an early stage of dementia, suffering from mild cognitive impairment, or worse.


No comments:

Blogsite Disclaimer

The content of this Blog, including text, graphics, images, information are intended for General Informational purposes only. Silver Innings Blog is not responsible for, and expressly disclaims all liability for, damages of any kind arising out of use, reference to, or reliance on any information contained within the site. While the information contained within the site is periodically updated, no guarantee is given that the information provided in this Web site is correct, complete, and up-to-date.The links provided on this Blog do not imply any official endorsement of, or responsibility for, the opinions, data, or products available at these locations. It is also the user’s responsibility to take precautionary steps to ensure that information accessed at or downloaded from this or linked sites is free of viruses, worms, or other potentially destructive software programs.All links from this Blog are provided for information and convenience only. We cannot accept responsibility for sites linked to, or the information found there. A link does not imply an endorsement of a site; likewise, not linking to a particular site does not imply lack of endorsement.We do not accept responsibility for any loss, damage or expense resulting from the use of this information.Opinions expressed by contributors through discussion on the various issues are not necessarily those of Silver Innings Blog.